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Rebuy Poker Tournament Strategy

Posted by David Cowell on July 24, 2010 at 12:43 GMT

There are advantages and disadvantages to playing in rebuy/add-on multi-table tournaments depending on what style of player you are and how much value these games represent to you.

The R/A tournaments offer the opportunity to add to your stack of chips should you make a poor start to the competition by paying a further entry to the prize fund, and having the option of an additional “add-on” after the first period (normally an hour) irrespective of how well or poorly you are doing. Thereafter the game changes to a freezeout format, and play resumes as would a regular multi-table tournament.

For players who can get to the break in a good position, these games offer tremendous value. Whereas in a regular tournament the prize fund is determined by the number of entries, with a rebuy/add-on tournament, the prize fund grows throughout the first hour – often substantially – with no additional payout places, and therefore rewards for finishing within the bubble are considerably higher.

Even if you have had to rebuy chips during the course of the first hour, there still may be excellent value to be had if you have been able to remain competitive.

Many players look at rebuy/add-ons for their value. Often tournaments are offered with guaranteed prize funds which are not always matched by the volume of stakes and rebuys, and games can frequently be very tight until the rebuy period.

If you are a typically tight player, you will do well in rebuy multi-table tournaments provided you get the rub of the felt in your first hour. However, if you are able to vary your game to be a little looser at times you, could enter the freezeout period with a valuable chip stack which would put you in a good position when aiming for the final table and top cash payouts. This is one instance when “playing against the table” – especially immediately before the add-on period – can pay dividends.

Deciding whether you should rebuy if your strategy is not working (or luck is not running) will be influenced by a number of factors. The most important will be the stage of the competition. If you are playing in a turbo R/A tournament, you may find that the blinds are already so high that you have little chance of remaining competitive.

It may be that you were playing the poker of your life and were eliminated by a particularly bad beat. How has that left you feeling? If you choose to rebuy, it should be because the game still represents value to you.

Knowing when to walk away from a table or tournament, is just as important as knowing when to fold in a game of poker. Where there is value, seek it out and exploit it, but playing for playing sake will not be valuable to your long term game and, ultimately, your bankroll.